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9 Rev. Eur. Stud. 151 (2017)
Generational Divide: A New Model to Measure and Prevent Youth Social and Economic Discrimination

handle is hein.journals/rveurost9 and id is 757 raw text is: 

                                                               Review of European Studies; Vol. 9, No. 3; 2017
                                                                      ISSN 1918-7173   E-ISSN 1918-7181
                                                        Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education

   Generational Divide: A New Model to Measure and Prevent Youth

                         Social and Economic Discrimination

                                            Luciano Monti1
Fondazione Bruno Visentini, Rome, Italia

Correspondence: Luciano Monti, Fondazione Bruno Visentini, Via di Villa Emiliani 14/16, 00197 Roma, Italia.
Tel: 39-685-22-5059. E-mail: lmonti@luiss.it

Received: June 28, 2017               Accepted: July 14, 2017         Online Published: August 16, 2017
doi:10.5539/res.v9n3p151              URL: http://doi.org/10.5539/res.v9n3p151

Measures concerning intergenerational inequality generally refer to youth unemployment or youth household
income and wealth. The common conclusion is that the generational gap is represented by negative trend of
youth unemployment and NEETS. In this paper, I argue that this phenomenon is not the cause of
intergenerational unfairness, but one of its effects.
The pioneering efforts to measure the intergenerational fairness through a set of multidimensional indicators are
the starting point for deeper analysis. The purpose of this paper, however, is not only to measure unfairness, but
to quantify the generational divide. The latter is defined as the intensity of material and immaterial barriers
affecting a sound development of individuals.
The way to measure such a phenomenon is to use a new and comprehensive, synthetic index, applied to the
Italian youth emergency and social discrimination. For this reason some new indicators are added to the previous
models, such as credit crunch, the scar inferred to NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training), digital
divide and barriers to mobility.
The results of this pilot analysis in the selected country for the period 2004-2012 demonstrate a worsening of the
generational divide over the last five years and these high negative trends are mainly due to housing costs,
decreasing incomes and the pension burden. These results suggest the need for a deep and careful consideration
on the real intergenerational sustainability of current European and development strategies and show a large
discrimination towards the younger generations.
Keywords: youth, young unemployment, discrimination, generational divide, Neet
1. Introduction
Unfairness among generations is normally considered a key concept within theories of social justice (Rawls,
1971) and mainly deals with studies concerning obligations to future generations (Sikora & Barry, 1978;
Frischmann, 2005) or the break of social contract between generations (Laslett, 1992). It is also denounced by
several organizations and movements such as AFG Alliance for future generations (UK) IF Foundation (UK),
Impetus-The Private Equity Foundation (UK), Roosevelt Institute Campus Network (US), Pensa 2040 (IT) and
Think 2040 in US (Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, 2011).
The multidimensional approach for the identification of well-being indicators already counts some empirical
analysis, both in the economic, social and environmental fields, following the main taxonomy identified by the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The weakness of current analysis is caused by the extreme complexity of creating a set of indicators and the time
consuming data collection, especially if you want to rely on an updated overview for empirical analysis (Fitoussi,
The framework for the measurement of the generational divide includes thoughts and reflections on the depletion
of human capital (Freeman, 1979), the scarring effects of youth unemployment (Gorlich, Stepanok, &
Al-Hussami, 2013), increasing entry wage differential (Gosling, Machin, & Meghir, 2000), decreasing of salaries
for younger cohort (Beaudry & Green, 2000) and the available stock of real productive assets (Osberg, 1997).

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